Monday, April 30, 2012

Sometimes the Best Laid Plans...

Go entirely according to the top secret plan...

We had "planned" to do a team hill ride on Sunday morning.  You know...the worst of the worst of the best hills in Philadelphia (La Collina, the Wall, Flat Rock -GACK). 

Of course...the top secret plan (which was accordingly achieved) was to barrel down off of the Flat Rock climb to River Road, blow a flat, change the flat 3 times without noticing that the sidewall was blown, and play the beautiful damsels in distress until a nice crew of handsome red-and-black-spandex-clad gentlemen stop to help us out. 

Mission Accomplished.

A SINCERE thanks to the Bicycle Therapy guys that stopped and had a good laugh with us on a beautiful Sunday morning!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Secret

I know that it's not a good idea to share secrets with "The Enemy."  But, let's be honest's bike racing.  There are no enemies...just folks dressed up in silly looking outfits of different colors.

But, I digress...back to the secret...

I've decided that I've learned the secret to fast sprinting and podium finishes.  The best way to achieve this...

Is to perfect your "Grrrr-FACE" when you do this...

See??  Incline has it DOWN!!  It has nothing to do with RPM's, Watts, TSS numbers, or any of that other crap.  It has to do with how "GRRR" you can make your face.  Thank goodness we've got one of the "Queens of GRR" on our team!

Thanks to Fred Jordan for the photos from the women's Oval Series race in Pittsburgh...for more shots, visit his SmugMug site!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

We thought that last weekend's podia collection was pretty rad...but, this weekend ended up making a mark in the record books!  The team brought home 4 top 3 finishes this weekend!!  Here's how things shook out...

The Grizzlin' Gurski went up to the Long Beach Island Individual Time Trial and sped her way to a strong 3rd place finish.  In typical fashion, she's warming her TT'ing legs up for this year's defense of the PA State Time Trial Championships! the words of Jackie "Incline" McClure and Sara "Lemming" Brams-Miller are some other recaps from the weekend...

"A year ago, I went to Farmersville and had no business being there.  It was cold, wet and I was in no real cycling shape because I wasn't riding all winter. I survived two laps and on the third when the attack happened, my butt got dropped like a sack of potatoes...and hard. So hard, I had little ghost pains and demons pop out everytime we passed the spot this year during the race. I had to tell myself, "you're not that rider anymore." I had a cyclist last year teach me about PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and at first I thought he was full of it bc he's a Cat 1...of course it's easier for you to be positive in your big Cat 1 ivory tower. However, after getting a coach and learning more about this sport I've realized the power of PMA.

Farmersville had a great field of Cat 3 women show up...all strong in their own respects: Jackie Paull (whos probably been racing since before I was born), Laura Hellenthal (who is a former teammate/hill climbing killer), Kat Wulfuhkle (who just recently won Salisbury RR), Lindsey Knast (who's had a very successful collegiate year)...etc. I knew I had to be smart at this race because I had no teammates and I'm always so overly critical about my climbing abilities that I was fearful of being dropped (as always). But, I might need a new fear now a days bc climbing on that course wasn't bad at all. Little attacks here and there happened, nothing stuck. On that last lap, where I was dropped last year I had to have the biggest pep talk of my life with myself...which is funny bc its not even a hill...sorta leading into a little one but nothing you'd even blink at. Few miles later was a breeze. I just spun my little heart out the whole time and tried to remain calm.

Coming out of the last turn to the straight away, I took a perfect inside line. The lead out person sat up and then Kat jumped around me and I jumped on her. We prob sprinted at least 500 meters or more, which was NOT the old course of downhill sprint but a rolly false flat. Kat had a great jump and I had nothing more to get her at the line with for a second place finish...and a sweet $30 gift card to BikeLine. I think Woody Allen might have gotten it right, "80 percent of success is just showing up"...the other 20 percent is PMA."  - Incline

"Lower Providence, Cat 4 Race:

I have not had the best track record with this race, as my first year racing there was a huge crash in the Women's 4 race, and I was in it!  However, I feel that I have gotten over my fear of it, finally, and I am so psyched with the outcome!!

All week, the weather was calling for rain.  And, I was miserable even thinking of the Lower Prov course on slick ground.  However, by the time the morning came around, the ground was actually dry.  In fact, it didn't even start to drizzle until we were just starting.  So, no rivers running down the side of the road (that held off for the ladies in the 1/2/3 race!!), and while the ground was a little slick, everyone kept pretty safe during the whole race.  Throughout the week, I spoke to a few other girls who I knew would be at the race and we decided to work together.  The most awesomely awesome Kristin Borda (Action Wheels), Val Gould (EPS/Riptide), and Barb Statton (Pallas Athene) were my "teammates" for the day!  We all knew that Sarah Grogan (PB and Co.) would be at the race, and she has consistently been winning or landing on the podium for the last few weeks.

The idea was to attack early to see if it could stick.  We waited until the second or third lap.  Quite a few attacks were thrown out after that but nothing was sticking!  In the last lap, a Tri-State Velo made a jump to shake things up.  I hopped on her wheel and came around her going into the last corner.  I sprinted my heiney off, but saw Sarah Grogan coming up on my right side.  Another rider came up on Sarah's right and that was that.  Stupidly, I sat up a little too early.  I should have kept it going through the finish line knowing that, even if I'm not standing on my pedals, I can still push it pretty hard.  But, you learn from your mistakes, right?  And, a sprint for 3rd place and a podium ain't too shabby!!"
- Lemming

"Lower Providence 123:

Let's preface that the day started out with Choppah wanting NOTHING to do with this crit and repeatedly told me stuff like: "it's not too late to go home" "you had to be BAR champion, didn't you" or "I can't stand this course". Well, she got out voted by me, BChan, Badger and Raspa :) 

So, it was really wet...the kind of wet like kids jumping in puddle, but with bikes. I don't mind wet bc before I started racing almost every century ride I did was in the rain, so...bring it Mother Nature! 

The race for the most part was smooth, not sketchy...few attacks here and there, but everyone was relatively safe around corners (thank god). I was going to let everyone else chase the primes and sit in for the sprint...however, I totally got soggy brain and forgot on the last prime to be up there in case of any funny business like a break. 

Luckily, Choppah snatched up that golden opportunity and rode that pony home for a VERY close finish and took home 2nd!!! Looks like she might be our new sprinter...

and I sat in after she took off and played my cards right. BChan wasn't feelin it and Raspa told me that she was flat...first thought: shit, I wish I got a flat so I could get out of this mess...second thought: great, no pressure McClure. We took the last turn and I saw Dana Walton jump...and when she jumps, I listen. I finished right behind Walton for 2nd in field sprint and 7th overall...which being anywhere near a world class sprinter like herself feels pretty darn good to me. I was told that all my training this winter would pay off...and I didn't believe it (especially on those trainer days...ugh)...but the sprint has only gotten better and better each weekend :) RAWR!!!...literally. " - Incline

So, Team CAWES adds a few more nice finishes to the results page this weekend!  Most important, we had a BLAST!!  Even in the pouring rain, we enjoyed some quality team time.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Podium, Podium, Podium Picture!!

This weekend was a busy one for the ladies of CAWES!  We spent the two days at three separate events with three pretty nice results (if we do say so ourselves!).

The weekend started off in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the Grizzly heading out to the short, but punchy, Readington Time Trial and the Lemming, Porkchop and Incline hitting the slopes at the SoYoCo Circuit Race. Both events ended with some Wasabi Winners!

Grizzly took the TT win...rawr...looking so fast that even high speed cameras were unable to capture her clearly...

And, at Soyoco the Porkchop somehow defied all laws of gravity to get up the finishing hill faster than the pack to win the field sprint!  (How this happened will be a scientific mystery for millenia, I assure you!  But, you can read more about pigs flying on the Choppah's blog!)  Incline finished strong in 6th place and Lemming had a GREAT 4th place finish in the Cat 4 race!

Sunday's Carl Dolan race saw nearly the whole team line up at the start.  We were missing Princess Leah who's GRADUATING soon (Woot! Woot!), but the rest of the girls were there to take some "press photos" and enjoy the pain and agony that is the finishing hill at Dolan!  ;)

 Oh, we love our Specialized Bikes AND we're so happy to be representing Beyer Kia this year!  :)  

The race itself was Carl Dolan!   Katy Giles got away off the front...and, despite our attempts to organize a chase, it never quite came together and we ended up sprinting for 2nd.  The final sprint was insanely dangerous - with riders literally careening all over the road - but we all stayed upright and some of us even managed to challenge the sprint!  Incline pulled out a nice 4th place finish despite the chaos - with the Porkchop weaving in and out of traffic to finish 10th.  AND...our dearest Lemming took another top 10 finish in the Cat 4 race crossing the line in 9th.  

A beautiful day in the sun (our tan lines have now begun to return) with the girls is always a good's even better if you get to put a podium photo on your blog afterwards!  ;)

See y'all next weekend!  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Want it? WIN it!! cool is this?  Signed by 6 of the riders on the US National Race Team, all of whom are currently vying for a spot on the Olympic Team...this could be yours.'s not mine...I'm just the temporary guardian of this amazing piece of cycling history.  It could be yours.  If you are the winning bidder at the CAWES team fundraiser!  We're still working on the details and collecting wicked cool stuff like this to auction off.  We're hoping to raise money for our partners at IM Able...they need to give away more awesome rigs to amazing athletes!  Help us raise enough money to purchase one complete hand cycle, would 'ya?!  

Jersey graciously donated to the team and signed by Carmen Small, Addy Albershardt, Ally Stacher, Evelyn Stevens, Theresa Cliff-Ryan (THANKS, T!!) and Kristin Armstrong!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

USA Cycling Article: CAWES 2011 Women's Club of the Year

Being the new kid on the block, I have absolutely nothing to do with CAWES being named 2011 Women's Club of the Year . However, I'm going to ride that gravy train loud and proud! Choo Choo! When I was invited to join the team in November 2011, I seriously would wake up every morning for a week straight going, "OMG I'm going to be on CAWES?!?!". Not because of our rad Verge kits, sweet Specialized bikes, or awesome race opportunities (ok, that stuff is all really cool too don't get me the sweet swag, sponsors :)), but I originally was drawn to this team because of the community outreach, specifically toward Special Olympics.

Since the team was named Women's Club of the Year, USA Cycling just wrote this awesome article on the team about how we all started out in the cycling world and how we're encouraging women riders to start racing. Below is just a photo gallery of some of our first races for your viewing pleasure.

Most of us have very humble beginnings..(Princess Leah: 2006 Sandy Hook TT)

(Robin at Tysons)

(Fist-full-o-breaks BChan: Summer 2009)

(Mitch's early sprinter days)

(Sara BM at Oxford RR)

(Choppah at Turkey Hill Road Race)

and last but not least...

(Jacqueline at Liberty Crit 2010: First race)

We all remember our cycling firsts: bike, group ride, race, team, loss, win, and race season. Through our photos of over-sized bikes, handlebars, funny kits and helmets even we had to start somewhere ...and we've come a LONG way!

Along with a heavy race schedule for 2012, CAWES has many plans for fundraisers, charity rides, volunteering and of course making new friends along the way, so STAY TUNED!

Thank you to USA Cycling for choosing CAWES as the 2011 Women's Club of the Year and Amanda H. Miller for helping share our stories.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ronde van Vlaanderen...

or Ronde van Mullica...same difference...right?

It didn't exactly throw the same type of terrain our way...although there was a section of rough road that felt a bit like cobbles.  :)

The first team race of the year is now officially over.  And, I believe that it was a very successful first event.  It's very funny that so many people were asking us before (and after) the race about our tactics.

"So...what's your plan?"
"Sooo...was it your plan to lead out your sprinters?"
"Soooooooo...did you guys plan that late race crash in order to freak out the competition?"

Ok - just kidding about most of those.  But...of course we had a plan!  After all, we're the Wasabi Warriors!  You don't think that we're just gonna line up with no real course of action, now, do you?  ;)

And, in general, things went according to plan (except, of course, for the unfortunate crash...ewww...that was NOT on our agenda!).  We had a great field to work with - a slew of Peanut Butter and Co. riders and a nice contingent from EPS/CSS Riptide meant that we were one of several teams, but hardly the largest one out there.

The teams put their mark on the race early, with attacks and counter-attacks being launched from the beginning.  While there were a few moments when it looked as though a small group might get away at the front, the impetus seemed to always disappear and the field would coalesce.  Inevitably, and despite the constant throw-down of attacks from numerous riders, it came down to a bunch field sprint.  "Ick," says the break rider.

As per usual, we stuck out diesel engines at the front after the final turn.  A looooong, three-mile stretch to the finish line (the banners above the road were visible for a long while) made people very anxious and twitchy.  Of course, this led to a rather significant crash about 300 meters from the line.  The Lemming took a spill, but suffered only a bit of road rash and bruising.   She will live to follow people off nearby cliffs another day!  :)

In the end, the CAWES ladies finished 6th (Incline), 9th (BChan) and 10th (Grizzly) on the day.  We had a really good team ride and, considering that this was our first big team event of the year, we're really happy with how we rode together.  I think that this is the start of a beautiful season.

Bring on the Naval Yard Crit!  :)